Tritons Shut Out, Fall Out of Playoff Position

    UCSD faced both teams last weekend in matches that reorganized the South Division hierarchy, as the Tritons were shut out in both games. UCSD picked up zero points in the weekend’s campaign, allowing CSU Dominguez Hills — formerly third place — to leapfrog past the Tritons into the second spot.

    On Friday, the Tritons hosted the Golden Eagles, formerly the only team to have beaten the UCSD in conference play. In the rematch, CSU Los Angeles caught the Tritons off guard, as the Golden Eagles took the lead with just over a minute left on the clock. And although the Tritons managed to outshoot Los Angeles in both periods, tallying 10 shots to the Golden Eagles’ six, UCSD was unable to find the net.

    “Los Angeles was a tough game, we hadn’t been giving up a lot of goals, and we’ve been taking a lot of pride in that,” UCSD Head Coach Jon Pascale said. “We were a little stunned by giving up that goal so early, and we felt like we gave it away. We were a little shell-shocked, and CSULA is really good about making you pay for mistakes, and they certainly did that to us.”

    Freshman goalkeeper Cameron McElfresh was only called to action twice in the entire match, as the Golden Eagles only managed two shots on goal.

    On Sunday, the Tritons traveled up to CSU Dominguez Hills, facing the Toros for the second time this season. UCSD won a narrow 1-0 match against the Toros back at the end of September, but did not fare as well in the rematch, allowing the Toros an uncharacteristic 13 chances on goal, for three total goals.

    “Dominguez has been the best team we’ve seen all year,” Pascale said. “They have a lot of good attacking players. You need a couple of breaks in order to get some type of result. We weren’t our best against them, and we made a couple of mistakes.”

    The 3-0 deficit is the largest margin the Tritons have lost by this season, as the UCSD backline has been one of the toughest to break down in the conference. The Tritons currently have the second lowest goals against average, with 0.59, just above CSU San Bernardino.

    Conversely, UCSD’s trouble in front of the net proved problematic last weekend. The Tritons are also averaging the second lowest number of goals this season with 0.8, with CSU Monterey Bay trailing in last place.

    Now in third place, with four conference games left to play, UCSD will need to win their next few matches to climb back into playoff position.

    “You’re never happy after a couple of losses — obviously they weren’t happy after their performance,” Pascale said. “We just need to remind ourselves to take it one day at a time. Win, lose or draw, you’ve got to move on really quick. We’ve moved on and want to do well this weekend.”

    The Tritons are four points behind second place CSU Dominguez Hills and six points behind first place CSU Los Angeles heading into this weekend’s matches against top of the North Division squads, CSU Stanislaus and Chico State.

    UCSD is slated for two home matches against CSU Stanislaus on Friday, Oct. 19 and Chico State on Oct. 21 for senior night.

    “The boys are excited to come home and protect our home turf and bounce back. Right now we’re kind of on the outside looking in,” UCSD Assistant Coach Eric Bucchere said. “We definitely have a chance to overtake Dominguez, but we’re just trying to take it one game at a time and focus on us.”

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